Thursday, March 15, 2012 / 2:28 pm

Some Things Just Aren’t Meant to Be Corporations

Agribusiness is a bad invention.

by Donna Schoenkopf

life as a chicken
Agribusiness sucks.

Just got this email from Tyson Foods. I had sent them an email—the kind that you send to a corporation or group or whatever about an issue that’s near and dear to your heart. You can be a good citizen just by filling in your name, etc., and voila! Your voice is heard. (I love technology.)

I had to ask daughter Rebecca about the last paragraph. Go to the very end to read it for yourself. It is a very weird paragraph. As you all know she is an editor, journalist and Constitutional enthusiast as well as having been an A+ student in her college Constitutional Law (with an emphasis in Journalism) classes.


So here’s the email from their corporate office that they DON’T want you to see:

Tyson Consumer Replies
1:50 PM (2 hours ago)
to undisclosed recipients
Sow Housing Statement

March 8, 2012

Thank you for your message. Contrary to impression left by HSUS, we care about how hogs are raised and have a long-standing commitment to animal well-being. It is part of Tyson’s Core Values and is why we’ve had an Office of Animal Well-Being since 2000 to oversee our animal handling practices. As part of our commitment, we are continually studying ways to enhance our animal well-being efforts.

The issue of sow housing is not as black and white as some would lead you to believe.

Over the years, farmers, universities and animal care experts have used and researched a variety of sow housing systems and found they each have advantages and disadvantages.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) have determined that both individual sow housing (gestation stalls) and group housing can provide for the well-being of sows.

As noted by these associations, gestation stall systems minimize aggressive behavior, injury and competition between sows and allow individual feeding and nutritional management. According to the AVMA, “Group housing systems are less restrictive but allow aggressive and competitive behaviors that could be detrimental to individual sows.”

Most of the hogs Tyson and other U.S. pork processors buy come from thousands of independent farm families who use both individual and group housing. Tyson requires all hog farmers who supply us to be certified in the pork industry’s Pork Quality Assurance Plus program, which incorporates animal well-being guidelines and is part of the industry’s ‘We Care’ responsible pork initiative.

We believe the farm families who supply us with hogs share the values of our company and consumers when it comes to ensuring livestock are treated properly. We also support the freedom of these independent farmers to choose the best ways to properly raise their animals.

For more information on sow housing, we encourage you to use the following websites:

Pork Cares

American Veterinary Medical Association

American Association of Swine Veterinarians

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you are not the intended addressee, then you have received this email in error and any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying of this email is strictly prohibited. Please notify us immediately of your unintended receipt by reply and then delete this email and your reply. Tyson Foods, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates will not be held liable to any person resulting from the unintended or unauthorized use of any information contained in this email or as a result of any additions or deletions of information originally contained in this email.

Donna Schoenkopf recently retired from teaching at 61st Street School in South Central Los Angeles, and has moved back to Oklahoma, where she spent her teens.


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